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Mike Tyson's Surprising Link to the Murder of Tupac Shakur (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Sep 8th 2010 12:50AM
Mike Tyson's Surprising Link to the Murder of Tupac ShakurBoxer Mike Tyson and rapper Tupac Shakur had more in common than you would think. Both men rose from poverty to become superstars. Both men were criticized for the violent and "thuggish" nature of their careers. Both men were sentenced to prison terms for crimes of a sexual nature. And perhaps most importantly, both men were good friends.

There's an additional link between them as well. Tyson and Tupac were together on the night of Sept. 7, 1996. This was the evening of Tyson's fight for a heavyweight boxing title -- it was also the night that Tupac was shot multiple times, leading to his death six days later. Shakur's brutal murder has never been solved.

'One Night in Vegas,' part of the ongoing '30 for 30' series (Tue., 8PM ET on ESPN), covers the evening in question: the fight, the friendship, and the death of Tupac Shakur. It turns out that Tupac appeared in Vegas that day because he had written a special rap for Tyson's heavyweight bout. Had Shakur not shown up to support his friend "Iron Mike," he might not have been killed.

The rapper was shot repeatedly by an unknown gunman as he rode in a car, following his departure from the boxing match. Thirteen bullet were fired -- three of them hit Tupac. Shakur was on his way to meet Tyson at a victory party ... he never made it.

Even now, fourteen years later, it is clear that Tyson feels a sense of connection to Tupac's murder -- and a sense of responsibility, as well. Describing his emotions upon learning of the shooting, Tyson says this: "[I felt] a lot of guilt ... a lot of ... numbness ... it was really inconceivable to really fathom that it happened."

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